First Impressions : 13 steps to WOW curb appeal

When we moved back into our house we were greeted with a disaster. Note: Sometimes it ISN’T the best idea to hire a property management group. Do your research, people. We have a good deal of work on our hands. While we have done some work on the inside, we have not tackled the exterior. Frankly, I am sick and tired of being greeted by [see photo below] each afternoon. One word—Lackluster. 

The front exterior of your home is your guest’s first impression. I don’t have to remind you how lasting that impression is! I want our guest(s) to think wow!  upon entering the driveway. I want my neighbors to model their own exterior by my design! The curb appeal of your home not only leaves a lasting impression, it improves the chances your house gets SOLD [if you’re looking to sell].




In Progress...


Below is our To Do list. So far we have completed 1-5. 

1 ▪ Tree elimination

                This was a bear, but necessary. We were shadowed by too many trees. Huge limbs would come crashing down during our far too common rain/wind storms. With a little one running around this was a no brainer. However, now we are left with big ole stumps we will have to tackle in an upcoming step. Really opened up the front, though! Plus---more grass growth, lots of extra wood for winter time! Thanks, neighbor, for taking this project on. It was a doozy!

2 ▪ Fence fix

                Dad and Jared took this one on. We haven’t completed the perimeter, but the front portion is complete! Hurricane Matthew (2016) decided to take down much of our fence. We used to have a boat entry into the back yard, which we eliminated since the concrete for the driveway makes it almost impossible to be able to pull anything back there. We, instead, opted for a nice little gated entryway—dressed up of course. Thanks, Mom, for the B!            


3 ▪ Choose the right colors for you

                Over the years, my color palette preference has calmed. Instead of bold colors I now opt for a more subdued and natural look: green, white, black—with a pop of red from the roses. Which leads us to….

4 ▪ Front door color

                The red I used previously was now giving me a sense of discontinuity. There was a pop of color without anything to pull it all together. So, I went black—simple, sleek and elegant.  Caution-don’t paint your front door in the heat of the summer when the mosquitos are at their highest count. As my dad used to always say, “We aren’t cooling the outdoors.” And the bugs suck. I used something like this. I like how the gloss adds a little something extra. As far as the durability, it can withstand.

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5 ▪ Wreath

                To keep with my simple theme, I wanted a green wreath with white flowers, held up by burlap-esque ribbon.  I used our old fake Christmas tree for the main portion and recycled white flowers from an old wreath—like these.

**6 ▪ Landscaping

Raised Garden:  I didn’t make many changes to the raised garden. We added landscape trim to take place of our stone (our neighbor took the stone and built a backyard fire pit. He thought we were getting rid of them, and I didn’t have the heart to take them back!) We added a third Knockout Rose bush for that extra pop and hastas for green. We do need to add more mulch and a small tree. We are thinking either a Japanese maple or small Crape Myrtle variety. Our hastas need some shade!

Flower Bed: We started over 100% here. We had scraggly bushes. We added some blue hastas. We hope they make it because they offer a beautiful full green-blue color once grown. Two rounded hollys meet you at the step up to the porch. They have some growing to do! We have two azaleas to keep our evergreen foundation solid. These bloom a beautiful white flower that keeps to my theme. We added a couple lavender plants to add some cover and color to the garden. Once more established we may add more plants.


Porch: The added a couple pots that we spray painted a chalky white to frame the door. We thought the Sky Pencil Holly was an easy choice, but I am beginning to question my decision. Instead, a may add two full ferns and repaint the pots black to match the door. This is simply a work in progress.

7 ▪ Paint shutters to match door

8 ▪ Out with the old [railings], in with the new [thick(er) columns]

                Old railings out. New columns to come soon once we complete the design.


9 ▪ Front Porch Sitting {Furniture & Décor}

10 ▪ Pressure wash fence/maybe stain?

11 ▪ Awning over side door

12 ▪ Electric box disguise

13 ▪ Tree stump elimination